Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Mother Earth Protector: Shifting Ideas of Progress among Small Farmers in North Kendeng
Mokh Sobirin

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 523
Date: 2019-07-23 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-18


Commodities are the space of the struggle for those who have access to it. The changing patterns of the world mining industry and the increase in infrastructure projects in Indonesia have made cement a valuable commodity today. However, on the other hand, cement production also targets areas that are natural water reservoirs that are needed by farmers, one of which is the North Kendeng Mountains. This battle between the two development models raises new knowledge in understanding the Kendeng landscape, the resilience of social movements and the definition of development. The Kendeng movement that has been going on since 2006 raises several questions: What kind of knowledge is produced by the movement and state actors on commodities? How does local knowledge about landscapes form movements and connect different actors? How does the contestation of ideas about progress occur in this movement?

This paper will discuss changes in imagination about the North Kendeng Mountains landscape by farmers and local government bureaucracies that understand this region with different perspectives. Farmers led by Samin people, a traditional Javanese anarchist group, understand Kendeng Utara as an essential area to maintain their existence while the regional government sees this area as an area that is not so productive that it is suitable to become a mining area. The imagination of landscape will project the images of the human-environment relations and political contestation (Ingold, 2008).

Besides, this paper will use militant ethnography approach to reveal the cultural dimensions of landscape images projection in farmers who supported the Kendeng Movement. This approach seeks to bridge the gap between activism and practice with observation in the form of participatory observation that involves politically and collaboratively from within rather than from outside the grassroots' movement (Juris, 2007)

Keywords: landscape, knowledge-practices, commodities, progress.